West Kelowna Warriors forward David Pope was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday as the Wings made Pope their fourth round selection, picking Pope with the 109th selection at the draft.
Pope is the third Warrior in seven years of existence to be drafted to the NHL, joining Edmonton Oiler Justin Schultz, and Cam Reid who was drafted by the Nashville Predators and currently plays for the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
“It really is a dream come true,” said Pope. “Detroit was my favorite team growing up, and (Pavel) Datsyuk is my favorite player. When you get drafted by a team like Detroit that really means a lot. I know I have to work hard, and hopefully become the player they envision me becoming.”
Pope was a dominating forward in the BCHL last season. At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, he will return for his third season with the Warriors this fall, already armed with a a scholarship to Nebraska-Omaha for 2014-15.
Pope notched 17 goals, and 22 assists on 42 games with West Kelowna last year.
A former Warriors player also heard his name called at the draft as defenceman Ben Betker, who now plays for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth round (158 overall).
“It was a real exciting day,” said Betker, the 6-foot-5 blueliner. “I’m looking forward to going to Oil Country. It’s still a long road ahead but it’s a marathon not a sprint, and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Betker is being flown into Edmonton this week to meet with Oilers brass. In 59 games with the Warriors in 2011-12 Ben had 5 goals, 13 assists, and 52 penalty minutes.